Overberg fires: Man, 71, injured while evacuating home, 'mop-up operations' continue

2019-01-12 14:31
Franskraal fire. (Jay Caboz, Business Insider)

Franskraal fire. (Jay Caboz, Business Insider)

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Mop-up operations continued in the Western Cape on Saturday, where wildfires in the coastal Overstrand region have left 31 houses completely destroyed and 28 partially damaged. 

A 71-year old-male was seriously injured while evacuating his home in the Betty's Bay area, according to the Overstrand municipality/Hermanus CPF Joint Operations Centre (JOC). 

"Our thoughts are with him and his family during this difficult time," the JOC said.

Chief fire officer in the Overstrand Municipality Lester Smith said strong winds were affecting firefighting efforts against the three separate fires in Franskraal, Betty's Bay and the Hermanus area. 

By Saturday afternoon, two helicopters and the ground crew were still battling with blazes in Franskraal, he said.

"We have approximately 8km line still active on the Franskraal fire."

READ:At least 31 houses destroyed, 28 damaged in Overstrand wildfires

He said there was no threat to any property and fire personnel were monitoring the area and attending to any hotspots and flare-ups.  

The municipality is receiving assistance from City of Cape Town, Cape Winelands District, Garden Route District, Stellenbosch and other municipalities and stakeholders.  

Smith added that one helicopter was in the Hermanus area, where westerly winds had picked up at about 20 to 25 km.

All hotspots in Betty’s Bay were put out and fire crews were also monitoring. 

Smith said Eskom technicians continued to work on restoring power, but there was no specific time when it would be fully restored. 

He said most of Hermanus and Gaansbaai were affected by power outages. 

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires
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